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Top 25 Agile Interview Questions and Answers

Previously, we’ve covered top 40 Agile Scurm interview questions on our blog that has been appreciated a lot. But we’ve received suggestions by many of the readers to cover Agile interview questions and Scrum interview questions separately. So, here we bring top 25 Agile interview questions and answers.

If you are preparing for an Agile interview, these latest Agile interview Questions and Answers will prove an important resource for you. Whether you are in a role of developer, business analyst, scrum master or project manager, Agile has opened up quite an excellent opportunity in your next career move with a market share of about 27%. Keeping this in mind we have designed the top Agile Interview Questions and Answers for 2019 that will help you crack Agile interview with ease.

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25 Best Agile Interview Questions with Detailed Answers

It’s the time to prepare yourself with the best agile interview questions and answers. We have categorized the Agile interview questions in a role-specific manner like agile interview questions for scrum master, agile interview questions for project manager, agile interview questions for business analyst, behavioural interview questions for scrum master and of course generic and most popular agile interview questions and answers. Hope it will help you to choose and prepare with latest Agile Interview Questions as per your specific roles.

Most popular Agile Interview Questions and Answers 

1. What are the differences between Agile and Waterfall model?

Answer: The key differences between Agile and Waterfall model are:

                    Agile Model                  Waterfall model

In an agile model, all of the phases like requirement analysis, design, development, testing, and release happens simultaneously in each sprint.

In waterfall model, work follows a sequential pattern, i.e. the next phase starts only after completion of the previous phase. In a typical SDLC requirement, design, development, testing, and release come one after another.
The agile model ensures a faster delivery and completion of a project as customers provide continuous feedback with each sprint that makes any correction fast. Also, it reduces the chance of huge rework at a later phase of the project. In waterfall model usually customers provide their feedback at later phase of the project which sometimes causes the possibility of huge changes and reworks.
Any required changes whether it is requirement or development related is applicable in an agile model. Waterfall model does not support continuous changes. For example, if requirements are locked down, and any further need of requirement change or a new requirement comes up in the future then it is considered a change request.
Agile model is a self-motivated process where the project team runs the overall process in a self-organizing way. Project managers in a waterfall model control decisions.
The agile model ensures less rework. Consequently, it increases the amount of return investment. Due to late feedback from customers sometimes in a waterfall model project faces a good amount of rework and changes.
An agile team means a united team

In a waterfall model, each phase consists of different team. Hence sometimes it causes coordination issues.

2. What is the basic difference between Scrum and Agile?

Answer: Scrum is a lightweight framework which comes under the umbrella term Agile that consists of principles and values. Agile involves a number of processes, methods, and Scrum is also an approach involved in Agile.

Agile

3. What is the difference between an Iteration and a Sprint in Agile?

Answer: Iteration defines a single development cycle in an agile method. It is a common term used for the iterative and incremental development process. On the other hand, the term Sprint is Scrum specific only and defines one development cycle of Scrum.

4. What are the different roles in a Scrum Agile model and their functionalities?

Answer: The different roles and their responsibilities are explained below:

Roles
                            Responsibilities
Product Owner (PO)
  • Accountable for the success of the project/product
  • Responsible for defining the product features
  • Prioritizes product features
  • Maintains the Product Backlog
  • Controls the team to ensure they work on the highest value features
Scrum Master (SM)
  • Organizes and holds daily Scrum that is a 15-minute team meeting for the status update.
    • Works on external obstacles that could interfere with the team activity.
    • Maintains the Sprint Burndown Chart
    • Responsible for conducting Sprint Retrospective once a sprint is finished
    • Overall works as a facilitator.
Development Team
  • A cross-functional team which usually consists of 5-9 people
  • There are no definite project roles within the team
  • The team is responsible for defining tasks and assignments
  • Works as a self-motivated and self-managing team to get the work done
  • Maintains the Sprint Backlog
  • Conducts the Sprint Review
Enterprise Agile
  • In an enterprise-level agile model, additional roles may be a need.
  • These roles could be similar like a delivery manager, program manager, chief architects, etc.

5. What does story point mean in Scrum?

Answer: It means the total effort required for implementing a backlog. 

6. What is a burndown chart in Scrum?

Answer: It is a graphical representation of backlog versus time. In the graphical form, the X-axis represents working days and Y-axis remaining effort. 

Burnt Down Chart

A burndown chart gives us the impression of the following thing as a whole:

  • Work done each iteration
  • Remaining work
  • Work done so far
  • When we can expect the remaining work to be done

7. What is Scrum of Scrum?

Answer: Scrum of Scrum refers to the meeting that happens after the daily Scrum call. The main purpose of this meeting is to coordinate between the teams. Hence, one representative from each team attends the meeting and discuss on the matters like :

  • The progress of that particular team since the last meeting
  • What is a particular team supposed to do and accomplish before the next meeting?
  • The obstacles that a team has faced or facing to complete the task
  • If any team is planning to allot some of their work to the following team

Also Read: Top 40 Agile Scrum Interview Questions and Answers

Top Agile Interview Questions for Business Analyst

8. How do you perform Agile?

Answer: Agile is performed using a process called Scrum. In an agile project, we follow the INVEST strategy for every user stories. Once the agreement is finalized regarding which user stories to begin with, the PM initiates the sprint which is a definite work period for the task.It may last a few weeks to a month. During the sprint execution the team meets in daily scrum call and if necessary in a scrum of scrum to discuss requirements and development progress. These calls also handle any obstacles that the respective teams are facing. 

Once a sprint is over the features are verified by the Product Owner for acceptance. The overall process gives the team a scope to learn what has been done best and how to improve the next iteration further. The product backlog is maintained and prioritized by the team for future features and requirements. As the project gets the scope to see the result at the end of each iteration hence business waits less time to see business value.

9. Explain the term INVEST.

Answer: The term INVEST is an acronym which Business analysts and product owner follows to write user stories.

I – Independent – This signifies that a user story should not have any inherent dependency on another user story.
N- Negotiable – A user story is modifiable until they become part of an iteration

V – Valuable – A user story must provide business value to the end user.
E – Estimable – The user story must estimate the size of a user story.
S – Small – User stories should maintain the size that makes it impossible for planning, task, and prioritization feasible with a certain level of certainty.
T- Testable – The user story with its description must implicate the necessary information to make development and testing possible.

10. What are the pros and cons of Agile method?

 

 

Answer: Pros and cons of Agile method are as follows:

Pros:

  • The agile method ensures faster delivery as there will be a less waiting period for a working solution.
  • The documentation requirements are much less than the waterfall model.
  • Agile allows responding quickly in rapidly changing situations.

Cons:

  • Budgeting and accountability is a complex process in agile projects as man-hours are not used in project estimation. It is possible that requirements may pop up during an iteration that may push a future agile sprint. 
  • Agile put stress on “wait and see” approach which may increase the chances of additional iterations with increased time and cost.

11. What are the 12 Agile principles?

Answer: The twelve manifesto principles of agile development are:

  1. Customer satisfaction through early and continuous software delivery
  2. Accommodating changing requirements throughout the development process
  3. Frequent delivery of working software components
  4. Collaboration between the stakeholders and developers throughout the project
  5. Motivate, support and trust the people involved in the project
  6. Enable face-to-face interactions
  7. Considering working software as the primary measure of progress
  8. Agile processes for supporting a consistent development pace
  9. Attention towards technical design and detail  to enhance the agility
  10. Simplicity 
  11. Self-organizing and motivated teams encourage great requirements, architectures, and designs
  12. Focus on how to become more effective on a regular basis.

12. What are the values that Agile manifesto follows?

Answer: The agile manifesto is based on four foundational values as follows:

  1. Individuals and Interactions Over Processes and Tools – that implies people and interactions among them more valuable than process and tools used for a project purpose.
  2. Working Software Over Comprehensive Documentation – To reduce the enormous effort for project documentation agile believes in meetings and interactions among teams.
  3. Customer Collaboration Over Contract Negotiation – With continuous delivery and feedback process Agile manifesto engage and collaborate customers throughout the project to meet the project needs.
  4. Responding to Change Over Following a Plan – Agile views changes as improvement of the project.

Also Read: Top 5 Agile Certifications

Best Agile Interview Questions for Scrum Master

13. What are the different frameworks used to coordinate between more than one Scrum teams?

Answer: There are mainly three frameworks used for coordinating between different scrum teams as follows:

  • SAFe – Scaled Agile Framework
  • LeSS – Large-Scale Scrum
  • SoS – Scrum of Scrum

However, which one you should apply that will depend on the team size.

14. What are the indications that Agile is working in a team?

Answer: Few signs that convey that Agile is working good in a team are

  • Increased velocity of the team with continuous improvement
  • Enhanced software quality with less technical bugs and better maintainability
  • Increased interest and participation of stakeholders in agile meetings like in the sprint demo.
  • Frequent software delivery (weeks rather than months)

15. Explain different artifacts in Scrum.

Answer: Different artifacts in Scrum are explained below: 

Artifact name

                      Purpose

Product Backlog (PB) • List of all desired product features

• A list can contain bugs and non-functional items

• Product Owner responsible for prioritizing

• Anyone can add items at anytime

• Each item should have a business value assigned

• Maintained by the Product Owner

Sprint Backlog (SB) • To-do list (also known as Backlog item) for the Sprint

• Created by the Scrum Team

• Product Owner has defined as the highest priority

Burndown Chart (BC) • Chart showing how much work remaining in a Sprint

• Calculated in hours remaining

• Maintained by the Scrum Master daily

Velocity chart (VC) • A velocity chart represents the sum of estimates of the delivered work across all iterations. 
Release Backlog (RB) • Same as the Product Backlog. May involve one or more sprints dependent on determined Release date.

16. What is DoD in agile and when you consider it is achieved?

Answer: DoD stands for Definition of done. We can consider it is achieved when –

  • The development of the story is complete
  • It is  QA complete
  • The story meets the acceptance criteria
  • Regression testing around the story is done
  • The developed component is eligible for production deployment

Top Behavioural Interview Questions for Scrum Master

17. The four agile manifesto principles ignore process and tools, documentation, contract, and planning. As a Scrum master, how do you justify it?

Answer: The agile manifesto does not ask to replace the items as mentioned above. Moreover, it emphasizes left items as mentioned in the values statements over the the right items as follows:

  1. Individuals and Interactions Over Processes and Tools.
  2. Working Software Over Comprehensive Documentation.
  3. Customer Collaboration Over Contract 
  4. Responding to Change Over Following a Plan 

18. How would you perform Scrum a sprint planning so that you can assure that your team is working only on most important user stories?

Answer: The best possible way to implement such planning is to

  • Involve Scrum team members in the product discovery process from the early phase.
  • To ensure both the product owner and the scrum team is clear about the backlog refinement process.
  • The user stories must be created as a collaborative effort of the scrum team and the product owner.

19. How would you manage a team member who does not like to follow the daily stand up scrum call and consider it as a waste of time?

Answer: A Scrum master should not tolerate and ignore such an attitude. As a rectification measure he can consider below as points of actions:

  • One to one discussion with the particular team member to make him/her understand the importance of scrum call. If needed the team member could be assigned further training on the agile method.
  • To raise it as an issue through other team members and provide him necessary support to make him understand the importance of stand up call.
  • If necessary conduct meeting with the team member and respective manager for the issue.
  • If no change occurs after following the steps mentioned above then reassigning the person to some non-agile team.

Also Read: Agile basics, Manifesto, and Principles

Latest Agile Interview Questions for Project Manager

20. What are the important attributes of an Agile project that you use during estimation?

Answer: There are three main attributes of an agile project team – 

  • Backlog: List of activities “to do” for a delivery team which includes design, development, build and testing.
  • Cost: Iteration based cost of a team.
  • Velocity: In an agile world velocity defines distance over time. Here distance means the size of the backlog and time means iteration length.
               Velocity = Story points * Team capacity

21. What is the difference between story points vs. hours from estimation point of view?

Answer: A story point is an abstract measure of effort that is required to implement a user story. Story points along with the sprint velocities provide an estimated approach over the next upcoming sprints. It is a high-level estimation and does not provide actual man hours that are needed to complete the task.

On the contrary, hours based estimation represents actual effort in man hours. It is a low-level estimation.

22. What are some of the advantages of using story points in Agile project estimation?

Answer: 

  • Story points make it compulsory to use velocity as a team’s performance data for release planning.
  • Story points remove the need for frequent re-estimation. Works like a size-based estimate
  • Using points and velocity story points make planning real. It is performance based.
  • Less stress inside a team as there is no fixed commitment of days. Hence better and rational performance of the team.
  • More collaboration in team’s behaviour.
  • Involves different teams during estimation. Hence, story points encourage the cross-functional behaviour.

23. Name some of the popular Agile estimation tools and techniques.

Answer: Some of the popular Agile estimation tools are techniques are:

  • Story points
  • Poker estimation
  • Delphi
  • Elative sizing

24. What are the project management tools we use in an Agile project?

Answer: Some of the new breeds of PM tools commonly used in the Agile project are –

  • Rally Software 
  • Version One 
  • XPlanner

Also Read: Why Agile Career is a Good Option?

25. Explain “Iteration zero” considering its difference from planning activities in a waterfall model.

Answer: “Iteration zero “implies to a time-boxed period at the beginning of a project or release phase when the agile team prepares and plans for the upcoming series of iterations. Activities which may include in “iteration zero” could be 

  • initial backlog
  • making initial architectural decisions
  • creating the initial release plan
  • Setting up development and testing environments.

Unlike waterfall model planning activities during iteration zero – 

  • Agile teams work as a single team and don’t wait until complete analysis, design, and planning by the experts before engaging the rest of the team
  • Agile teams time-box themselves to limit iteration duration 
  • Agile teams maintain flexibility and keep the velocity at the high level
  • Agile teams plan to revisit and revise their plans, rather than to re-plan on an interruptive basis

Final Words

If you want to increase your profile visibility among the top employers then no doubt certification helps a lot. Though with appropriate guidance on agile interview questions you can crack the interview, however, becoming a certified agile professional widens your opportunity. 

An Agile Scrum master is a certification that not only provides more knowledge towards the project management but also enhances one’s credibility across the roles in an agile project. And in this respect, nothing goes better than PMI-ACP. This industry-recognized certification provides an in-depth fundamentals of Agile principles. Also, its accreditation works wonder in the professional growth of the candidate. 

Hence, if you aspire to become a successful agile professional why not as a certified agile practitioner? At Whizlabs we have leveraged complete guidance through our PMI-ACP online course and practice test.  These practice test series also helps to face many critical agile interview questions as these are designed in more elaborate and in-depth way.

Join us and achieve the best benefits towards the success goal of your career!

About Dharmalingam.N

Dharmalingam.N holds a master degree in Business Administration and writes on a wide range of topics ranging from technology to business analysis. He has a background in Relationship Management. Some of the topics he has written about and that have been published include; project management, business analysis and customer engagement.
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